Indian gooseberry (Amla): The health benefits And Precaution

Indian gooseberry (Amla): The health benefits And Precaution

Indian gooseberry or amla is an extremely sour, nutritious fruit of a tree that grows in India, the Middle East, and a few other Southeast Asian countries. It is known as Amla in India and Amalaki in Sanskrit. Due to its powerful antioxidant properties, it is often used in Ayurvedic medicines to boost skin and hair health, and also overall immunity of the body. The fruit is light green in color and can be quite tart and fibrous to eat. Indeed in India, it is eaten with salt and chilly powder or made into a pickle or sugared candy.

Benefits of Indian gooseberries

Boosts Immunity

Indian gooseberries are a natural immune booster as they contain a powerful cocktail of vitamins C and A, polyphenols, alkaloids, and flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol. According to a study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, amla has potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Amla juice, in Ayurveda, is often used to increase the white blood cells in the body, which are the main line of defense for the immune system. Indeed white blood cells attack and eliminate foreign toxins and substances into the bloodstream throughout the body.

Controls Diabetes

Gooseberry contains chromium, which has a therapeutic value for diabetics. It stimulates the isolated group of cells that secrete insulin, thus reducing blood sugar in diabetic patients. When blood sugar is reduced, glucose is used by the cells as functional energy. Thus, the metabolism is stronger and you have more energy, without the plunges and spikes in blood sugar that are dangerous for diabetics. Chromium also enhances the effect of beta-blockers, which are used for heart health, by reducing the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body. A 2011 research study on the effect of the amla fruit on blood glucose and lipid profile of type 2 diabetics stated that it has anti-hyperglycemic and lipid-lowering properties.

Aids in Digestion

Amla is also very high in fiber, like most fruits. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps move food through the bowels and keeps bowel movements regular. This reduces the chances of constipation. Soluble fiber (found in many fruits) can also bulk up loose stools and reduce diarrhea. Amla also stimulates the secretion of gastric and digestive juices, so food is digested efficiently, nutrients are absorbed in an optimal way, and one feels lighter and healthier. A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Food Technology found that the amla and amla powder retained water. This property also helps reduce constipation and can help protect from various gastrointestinal disorders, and even has implications for colorectal cancer.

Prevents Heart Diseases –

Furthermore berries –like blueberries and gooseberries–have been proven to improve heart health. Amla powder strengthens the heart muscles, so the blood circulation is more effective throughout the body. By reducing excess cholesterol buildup, chromium in amla powder can also reduce the chances of atherosclerosis or plaque buildup in the vessels and arteries. This may reduce the chances of stroke and heart attack. The iron content in amla also promotes the creation of new red blood cells, thereby increasing circulation and the oxygenation of organs and cells to maximize the growth and regeneration of tissues.

Acts as a Diuretic –

Besides being a fruit that is very high in water content, amla is also slightly diuretic in nature. This also means that it increases the frequency and volume of urination. Furthermore, urination helps our body eliminate unwanted toxins and excess levels of water, salt, and uric acid. Furthermore, it can help lose weight since up to 4% of urine is composed of fat. Therefore, a diuretic substance is often beneficial for keeping kidneys healthy and for preventing urinary and uterine infections.

Hair Care

Amla powder is also used in many hair tonics as it enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. It strengthens the roots, maintains color, and improves luster. Applying amla oil to the roots of your hair improves hair growth and color. Amla oil is very popular in India because it has been shown to reduce the chances of hair loss and baldness. This quality is due to the carotene content of amla, as well as its iron and antioxidant content that prevents free radical damage to hair follicles and hormones.

Anti-aging Agent

Moreover, amla prevents health-related hyperlipidemia by reducing the number of free radicals in the body through its antioxidant qualities. Vitamin C and antioxidants also help scavenge free radicals, free radicals are associated with signs of aging like wrinkles and age spots. Amla powder is used as a face mask to remove age spots.

Eye Care

Drinking gooseberry juice – which is rich in vitamin A – with a bit of honey, is good for improving eyesight. It helps improve nearsightedness and cataracts while reducing intra-ocular tension. This is mainly due to its impressive carotene content, which has long been known for its powerful effect on vision-related conditions, including those that stem from the free radical damage. Vitamin A and carotene improves vision, while also lowering the risk of macular degeneration and night blindness.

Boosts Liver Health –

Drinking amla juice, as per Ayurveda, boosts vitality and vigor, and the underlying reason for it is probably linked to its ability to re-energize the liver. Liver health is not paid much attention to, even though it affects a large part of the population. A 2013 study on the Hepatoprotective properties of the Indian gooseberry published in the journal Food & Function journal also says the fruit is effective in preventing the toxic effects of excessive medication and toxic metals. The presence of phytochemicals such as quercetin, gallic acid, corilagin, and ellagic acid in amla helps in free radical scavenging and in turn, detoxifying the body.

Anticancer Properties –

Also, amla extract has been shown to have cytotoxic activity against cervical and ovarian cancer cells. Nevertheless researchers from Montreal, Canada published a study that found Phyllanthus Emblica extracts have strong tumor repressive properties against a number of cancer types. Additionally, other research in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention shows that the tiny fruit is packed with potent polyphenols, flavonoids, and tannins, making it a powerful tool against a variety of conditions, including cancer and diabetes.

Aids in Calcium Absorption –

One of the less-discussed benefits of the Indian gooseberry is how it helps the body absorb calcium in a positive way. Calcium is an essential component of our bones, teeth, and nails, and plays a part in ensuring we have beautiful, lustrous hair. One of the ways to obtain its benefits is by drinking diluted amla juice on an empty stomach.

Improves Metabolic Activity –

Eating foods that are high in protein, like amla, is one of the most important ways to stay healthy. Besides protein is necessary for cellular growth, muscle development, organ health, and a wide range of metabolic activities that we need to remain healthy. Our enzymes can break down plant proteins into amino acids and reassemble them into usable proteins for our body.

Treats Menstrual Cramps

It is thought that the minerals and vitamins in the Indian gooseberry combine to make it very useful in the treatment of menstrual cramps. Consume amla on a regular basis so that its nutrients are always in the system and menstrual cramps can be prevented or reduced.

Relieves Diarrhea & Dysentery

Due to its strong cooling and laxative properties, amla powder is a useful component in remedies for diarrhea and dysentery, according to a study published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. It provides relief from the various gastric syndromes and hyperchlorhydria (burning sensation in the abdomen). As a laxative, it helps flush out toxins or harmful substances that cause discomfort or illness, so the healing process can begin. It then cools the burning sensation and reduces the discomfort often felt during diarrhea.

Improves Appetite –

Consuming gooseberry powder with butter and honey before a meal can improve appetite. In other benefits, amla is also used as a remedy for fever, liver disorder, indigestion, anemia, urinary problems, respiratory problems, and cerebral, gastric, and cardiovascular illnesses. Gooseberry lowers cholesterol levels, increases red blood cell production, and strengthens teeth and nails.

Adding Indian gooseberries to your diet

Without a doubt, you can consume Indian Gooseberry (amla) like fresh fruit, juice, or in a dried powder form to see a big improvement in your health.

  • Fresh amla: These are available in season in Indian stores. Also, you can eat amla slices raw with salt and spices, like in India or you can mix a teaspoon of honey. Honey balances the tart taste of amla.
  • Dried amla: Chew dried amla on, but be aware that they may have a lot of sugar added to it. In India, people call the candied pickle amla murabba.
  • Amla powder: Even so, organic versions flood the market. So, mix them with water, honey, or yogurt for making it into a hair or face mask.
  • This also oil helps to strengthen the hair, prevents premature greying, and stops hair fall.
  • Amla juice: Finally, taking amla juice diluted with water early in the morning on an empty stomach helps keep the digestive system healthy and aids in managing blood sugar levels.

Recipe for Amla (Indian gooseberry) Murabba


1 Kg Amla

2 tsp Chemical lime

1 1/2 kg Sugar

6 cups Water

1 tbsp Lemon juice


Prick amla with a fork. Dissolve 1 tsp lime in water and soak amla overnight.

Remove and wash well. Repeat once more.

Drain and wash thoroughly.

Squeeze and rinse to eliminate lime remains.

Boil water then add amla.

Cook till tender and transparent.

Drain and keep aside.

Make syrup with sugar, lemon juice and 6 cups of water.

Maintain one thread consistency, skimming off any scum that keeps forming.

Add amla, bring to a boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

Let it cool, then store in a clean airtight jar.

Lastly, you can add elaichi or any other flavoring of your choice.

Recipe for Amla (Indian gooseberry) Chutney


1 Tbsp oil

1 Tbsp saunf

cup boiled amla: 1

1 tsp dhaniya powder

1 tsp red chilli powder

Tbsp ghee: 1

1 tsp bhrami leaves

Salt to taste


In a pan take some oil and add sauf in it.

Add boiled pieces of amla. Toss.

Add dhaniya powder, red chilli powder and ghee. Cook for a minute. Now add bhrami leaves and salt. Let it cool.

Lastly, blend it in a mixer and serve.

Word of caution

Pregnancy and breast-feeding:

Firstly, there is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Indian gooseberry as medicine if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Thus, stay on the safe side and stick to food amounts.

Bleeding disorders:

Even so, Indian gooseberry might increase the risk of bleeding or bruising in some people. If you have a bleeding disorder, use Indian gooseberry with caution.


Indian gooseberry might also decrease blood sugar levels. Hence, your diabetes medications might need to be adjusted by your healthcare provider.

Liver disease:

In theory, taking Indian gooseberry with ginger, Tinospora cordifolia, and Indian frankincense might make liver function worse in people with liver disease. But it’s not known if taking Indian gooseberry alone can have these effects.


Indian gooseberry might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop taking Indian gooseberry at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs)

Interaction Rating:

Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk with your health provider.

Indian gooseberry might decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Thus, taking Indian gooseberry along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. So, monitor your blood sugar closely.

Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.

Medications that can harm the liver (Hepatotoxic drugs)

Interaction Rating:

Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk with your health provider.

Some Ayurvedic formulations that contain Indian gooseberry have been linked to liver damage. While it’s not clear if Indian gooseberry or other ingredients in these formulations caused the liver damage, in theory, taking Indian gooseberry along with medication that might also harm the liver can increase the risk of liver damage.

Some medications that can harm the liver include acetaminophen (Tylenol), amiodarone (Cordarone), carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid (INH), methotrexate (Rheumatrex), methyldopa (Aldomet), and many others.

Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs)

Interaction Rating:

Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk with your health provider.

Indian gooseberry might slow blood clotting. Taking Indian gooseberry along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.

Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.

Dosing considerations for Indian Gooseberry.

The appropriate dose of Indian gooseberry depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Indian gooseberry. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

Links to some best Amazon products:

Dabur Amla Hair Oil – For Strong , Long and Thick Hair – 450ml

Baidyanath Amla Juice – Rich in Vitamin C and Natural Immunity Booster – 1L

Online Quality Store Reetha Amla Shikakai (Raw Form) Combo Pack, 300 g (Pack of 3)

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